French Republican Calendar

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October 24, 1793, the newly established Republic of France rejected the Gregorian Calendar, seeking a new, rational, regular model, thus giving birth to the French Republican Calendar. Louisianne instituted the calendar on January 1, 1794. This new and innovative calendar was only officially accepted for 13 years in France, but lived on in Louisianne. On January 1, 1806, Napoleon re-established the Gregorian Calendar, ending a bold experiment in man's effort to redefine his world.

The Calendar was an effort to put the idea of the republic into the daily lives of the citizens. It was a means of artistic expression, shifting from the ancient names to new, nature related names that directly reflected the seasons. It was a renouncement of the Catholic Hegemony (and religion period). It was an effort to raise public opinion of the agricultural class, to logically divide the time and calendar.

Creation of the Calendar

Led by poet Phillipe-François Fabre d'Eglantine, a group of mathematicians and painters restructured the Year, and poetic names were chosen, relating to each other within the seasons. D'Eglantine wrote "...the effect of these names is such that by merely saying the name of the month one will clearly feel three things and how they are connected: the type of season; the temperature; and the state of vegetation." The names of the days of were planned to be functional following the ideal of decimalization, or 'decimation' as the FK pundits would say. Each day was assigned a plant name, however these were abandoned as quickly as the 'primidi, duodi, tridi,' etc.

Seasons were divided into three months, and the grouped months shared a common ending:

AUTUMN (AUTOMNE)

  • Vendémiaire - (Month of Vintage/Grape Harvest)
  • Brumaire - (Month of Mist/Fog)
  • Frimaire - (Month of Frost/Cold)

WINTER (HIVER)

  • Nivôse - (Month of Snow/Leveling)
  • Pluviôse - (Month of Rain/Wet Season)
  • Ventôse - (Month of Winds)

SPRING (PRINTEMPS)

  • Germinal - (Month for Seeds to Sprout)
  • Floréal - (Month of Blooms/Flowering)
  • Prairial - (Month of Meadows)

SUMMER (ETÉ)

  • Messidor - (Month of Harvest)
  • Thermidor - (Month of Heat)
  • Fructidor - (Month of Fruits)

The Federated Kingdoms was quick to develop a pejorative string of nicknames: Slippy, Nippy, Drippy, Freezy, Wheezy and Sneezy, Showery, Flowery, Bowery, Wheaty, Heaty, Sweety).

The months are 30 days long, originally divided into 'decades' of 10 days. Louisianne returned to the seven day week, to the happiness of the working class. The names derived from the Latin roots were dropped in favor of the older names.

The evenly-divided months created a few leftover days (five days usually, six on leap years). Called the Jours complementaires or the Sansculottides ("the days of the poor") they were treated as Holidays, or Festival days and were named: Jour de la Vertu (Virtue), Jour du Genie (Genius), Jour du Travail (Work), Jour de la Raison (Reason), Jour de la Recompense (Reward) and in leap years, the Jour de la Revolution (Revolution). Leap years are in years that are one less than a multiple of four (e.g., CCVII or CCXI). Following the Gregorian calendar, the year CVII (began 1898) was not a leap year, just as Gregorian 1900 was an omitted leap year.

The First Day of the Year was always the autumn equinox (the 1st of Vendémiaire). The FRC was signed into law in November, in the Gregorian year 1793 - but was dated backwards to 1792, so when the it was adopted, the French were well into Year II of the new calendar, and the Louisiannais into Year III.

After Napoleon dismantled the Republic, he reinstated the Gregorian Calendar in 1806. Many supported the switch back, including those who enjoyed one day off every seven instead of every ten, and international businessmen, who had trouble with the varying differences between the FRC and the rest of the world. Louisianne has been able to work out the disparate days with the rest of the world by functioning as many of the Arab nations with both calendars, albeit emphasising the RC. The Louisiannan use of the RC is not without compromise, as the Louisiannans continue to use the typical French weekday names, ie, Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi, Vendredi, Samedi and Dimanche. So although Louisianne continues to use the calendar, it has reverted to a seven day week.

Modern Use

Louisianne continues to use this calendar, as did the Republic of Ezo.

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